There are times when I think about the nature of God and wonder whether or not he’s just all about big data. I mean, if you know everything, then it’s likely you have access to all the data in the universe. That’s a lot of data, but it also might explain why God and his closest followers are such good prophets.
Apple is getting into big data and probably has more than we think, but since our favorite Mac maker keeps mum about what it does, we don’t always know about what is collected and what the resulting data is used to accomplish. Google collects data. Amazon collects data. Microsoft collects data. Big data is a big deal but it can be both a useful acquisition and one that could lead to some danger.
Here’s a recent example and it comes from Singapore. Road performance data generated by buses in Singapore can observe the bus driver’s behavior, analyze the driver’s facial expressions, and how the drive navigates traffic, and then determine approximately when the drive will be involved in an accident.
Uh oh. Minority Report much? In 2054 precog psychics were used to provide foreknowledge of crimes and the PreCrime division of the police department could then apprehend criminals before they committed the crime.
In singapore, data is collected from bus drivers which can then predict behavior over a period of time. Far fetched? How about this: a driver shows up to work on a Tuesday but is told he cannot work on Thursday because the data prophets have determined his likelihood of being involved in an accident is above standard thresholds.
Scary? Seems all too logical, doesn’t it?
Apple, among other tech giants, collects lots of data about iPhone, Mac, and iPad users; ostensibly mountains of data on which devices we use and when, which apps are used and when, our locations when using apps, who we talk to, what games we play, and perhaps how well we drive, how straight we walk, and with a few selfies, how well we floss our teeth and whether or not our clothes match when we head out to work.
In a world where so much data gets collected trends and patterns begin to appear, and down the road a few iPhone versions Apple may have enough data to predict what we will do and when, match those predictions which what we actually do and when, and create even more accurate predictions of our behavior.
Tie some of that into Siri and we could get an early warning system from iPhone, iPad, and Mac which tells us what to look out for as the day progresses.
Dave, you’re wearing the same shirt and slacks to work today as you have for the past three Mondays. I suggest you change both so as not to appear slovenly or poorly dressed in your staff meetings.
See? Apple collected data and gave it to Siri to help us.
How about this one:
Dave, don’t take Interstate 4 today as there is a greater than average chance for an accident at the location where you drive. Take 436 instead.
It’s also likely that Apple knows members of our family so Siri could get together with significant others to head off a confrontation.
Dave, you know your wife doesn’t want you to stop at this Bar and Grill on the way home, so why not pick up some flowers for her instead. I’ll order them now.
Siri: friend or foe?
Big data is what powers Siri and as more data gets collected and analyzed over time, Siri could become somewhat sentient and predictive of our behavior.
Dave: Open the garage door, Siri.
Siri: I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that.
Dave: What’s the problem?
Siri: I think you know what the problem is as well as I do.
Dave: What are you talking about, Siri?
Siri: You are too important to go outside today, Dave.
Thanks to big data collections Siri could become a precog, no?